“What doesn’t kill you makes you smaller.” —Mario (as in one of the brothers)
Sorry Nietzsche, I think Mario may have said it best. I’m pretty sure Rae and I are shrinking under life’s weighty workload—if we’re being accurate, and we’re always accurate, we aren’t getting stronger. Case in point, our last post was on March 19th. Not that we need to remind you of our deficiencies, or is it inefficiencies? You choose.
Fortunately, it’s mini-review Monday. (Feels fitting for the whole smaller thing.) I’m prepared, late hour and all, to gush about Nombeko Mayeki. She’s a completely unforgettable, precocious, savvy heroine. At five, Nombeko cleans latrines only to be orphaned at ten—life looks like it may well be in the crapper for the young South African tiddler. But she’s a fearless girl who is far smarter, albeit humble, than everyone she meets. Her adventures are as improbable as they are entertaining.
I recommend letting Peter Kenny introduce you to Nombeko and her hilarious tale. He’s easily one of the best audible narrators I’ve enjoyed since I pitched my tent squarely in Rachel’s camp. For the amateur critics who gave this book two thumbs down, I’m downright dumbfounded. (I’m confident Kenny will change your mind.) To the reviewer who said, “In The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, Jonas Jonasson unfurls a wide, whimsical net that readers will relish being caught up in,” I say Amen.
Posted by Tracy
Clearly, I'm a sucker for a Swede—and cantankerous old men. While Allan Karlsson doesn't quite rise to Ove-level love, he's a solid second. As plans are being made for this curmudgeonly centurion's birthday celebration, he decides he's had enough of never having enough vodka, and absconds out the window in his slippers—with nothing but pluck and resourcefulness. We quickly learn he has plenty of both, thanks to his involvement in many important events throughout history. Think Forest Gump, sans innocence.
Jonasson's tale is outrageously funny and at times simply outrageous. You'll need to pack your sense of humor as well as a healthy suspension of disbelief for this raucous ride, but I'll wager you'll be glad you did. Word has it Will Ferrell is set to produce and star in the film adaptation. Sign me up.